February 4 - 10, 2024: Issue 612


Woody Point Yacht Club’s 2024 Putt Putt & Gentleman’s Launch Regatta

The 2024 Olympic Games inspiration from the Quays Marina boat. Photo: Marg Fraser-Martin  of Marg's Yacht Photos

The following report comes from no less an authority than the WPYC's esteemed Commodore - Jon 'Hoiley' Hoile:

Wooden Putt Putt & Gentleman’s Launch Regatta 27th January 2024

Last Saturday's Putt Putt & Gentleman’s Launch regatta was enjoyed in true Woody Point fashion. It was wonderful to see a fleet of painted up little boats from the past, putting amongst the larger boats at anchor as they warmed up for the lap of Scotland Island from Treharne Cove and back.

There were 3 Putt Putts and 13 Gentleman’s Launches, decorated in various colourful themes for the spectators.

The crowd included Trilby Bond, (wife of one of our founding members, Philip Bond) through the generations down to lots of children playing on the beach and enjoying their free sausage sandwiches.

It was Philip Bond that donated the Gentleman’s Launch Trophy back in 1996 and it was Tim Shaw that donated the Pittwater Cup back in the eighties.



Palm Beach SLSC: The Summer Traditions Of A Local Surf Club In The 2023/24 Season

PBSLSC Active Members 2023/24 

Palm Beach SLSC’s clubhouse home has changed a lot since 1921 when a shed was placed, courtesy of the Barrenjoey Land Company, in the land beside the to come Peters residence - current Members clubhouse - and before the 1936 purchase of William Choley’s ‘The Rest’ as their first clubhouse. The second ‘shed’ was placed in then ‘Palm Gully Park, later Glenburnie Park and current Hordern’s Park. The third clubhouse was on the beachfront beside the then dressing rooms, built in 1924. At a Meeting held on August 7th 1929 the Council voted to remove the clubhouse from the reserve and for the construction of another further along the beach. By December 1929 this building opened, south of the council dressing sheds. This structure comprised a club room, shower room, casualty room, lavatory, verandah and boatshed. Water came via a well and windmill, with any additions funded by members.

Photos: the third shed, 1929 - note PBSLSC bunkhouse/clubhouse building in background with dark walls and light coloured roof. The Club applied to place a room for surfboards underneath but was knocked back by the council. Clearly simply stacking them against the exterior walls for quick access was practised. The first and second sheds – photo courtesy Curlewis family, second shed photo in Hordern’s from Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales, 7, nla.obj-162484891, PIC P865 Enemark collection of panoramic photographs [picture] courtesy of the National Library of Australia

However, it's not the clubhouses that save people on our beaches each Summer - they're just part of the structure of equipment used so that the people who fill them as Members, and what's in those people, coalesces as something extraordinary being achieved on our beaches from September through April, and persists through the off-season to be even stronger, better and more dedicated the following Season.

SLSA states it exists to save lives, create great Australians and build better communities. Through its coastal safety, lifesaving, education, sport and recreation programs and services, SLSA generates significant social and economic benefits for the Australian community each year.

Today Palm Beach SLSC is a vibrant inclusive cross-generational club that features a number of within the club carnivals each Summer that honour Club Members with one named for a foundation member, Adrian Curlewis, known as the ‘father of surf lifesaving’ in Australia. During the first week of January each year the Adrian Curlewis Masters Carnival attracts athletes from across the Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Clubs and the Surf Life Saving Sydney Branch.

It's not just visiting Members from others Clubs though. People from all over Sydney come to Palm Beach each Summer in their thousands. They visit during Spring, Autumn and Winter too, at dawn, at midnight, at 4a.m. for the dawn fishing, but Summer and hot humid weather attracts visitors in their thousands, every day, and has done so since a decent road/track was built and a bus service laid on. 

Thousands of visitors  needs hundreds of Volunteer Patrol Members to look out for them in the waters off the coast. Since 1921, the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club has protected the lives of the community in the spirit of the First Infantry Battalion from which it takes it colours. With over 1,100 members, it has become one of the largest Clubs in Sydney’s northern beaches.

This week a few glances into one of Pittwater's finest Surf Clubs from just three Members who have 117 years of serving our local community between them.

More in Issue 612's Profile of the Week.


Barrenjoey Boatshed Set To Open 

Barrenjoey Boatshed - 'The Joey' - is scheduled to open on Thursday February 8 2024 should all the approvals finally be in place – or failing that, the following Thursday February 15.

The delay has occurred as the applicant is seeking to extend the operating hours from 7:00am to 11:00pm Monday to Sunday. 

Under the old Barrenjoey Boat House the premises is approved to cater for up to 152 patrons from 7 am to 4 pm, 7 days a week as a café and from 4 pm to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays (daylight savings months only) as a function venue. The areas for patronage are split as 48 indoors, 30 outdoor covered deck seating and 74 on the lower deck seating. 

Those who live in the immediate vicinity have cited loud noise, with complaints on record with council since Carmel's and the boatshed changed hands in 2009 (the previous proprietors both advertising and catering to wedding groups up to 200), and the impacts on resident nocturnal wildlife movement and feeding as reasons for refusal. 

A 2017 application, refused by council when former General Manager of Pittwater council Mark Ferguson was CEO of the newly minted NBC, stated in the NBLPP Assessment Report that this would require changing the POM for Governor Phillip Park. That document also pointed out that since the ownership of the property changed in 2009, it appears that there has been ongoing development creep at the site, generally reflective of the surge in popularity of ‘The Boathouse’ as a go-to destination. 

'The capacity of the premises has notably increased, the footprint of the seating space has increased into the front Licenced Area, a number of structures associated with the café have been erected within the front Licenced Area, and the amount of parking spaces within the Licenced Area has been reduced.' the report states, and;

'These changes to the premises, to which there are no records of approval, authorisation or owners consent, are reflected in the plans provided to support the application as the “existing” situation, which demonstrate that the premises currently provide seating for approximately 213 people...'

The Conclusion stated; 

'...the application is ill-founded in that it is reliant upon development creep that has occurred since 2009, which lacks any formal authorisation or development consent and is in breach of the licence arrangement issued for the site'.

The Palm Beach POM provided comments with regard to the Licenced Area that resolved, to some degree, the land that had been usurped. 

Those who frequented the eatery during these years would also have seen a 'Public Access' sign had been installed beside the public path through the area and eatery shortly after these processes were taken. 

Photos taken this week show the new proprietors have taken out all the previously installed palms, massed strelitzia screening and high pebble swales that gave that inferred the front of building land belonged to the eatery. 

Their landscape plan shows all exotic plants are to be removed (and have been already), to be replaced by Banksia integrifolia trees, which will allow views to Pittwater through their branches and echo those same tree species growing on the bank opposite, Leptospermum laevigatum, endemic to coastal areas on the east coast and with a sweet perfume when in flower, and Acacia sophorae, commonly known as coastal wattle, along with ficinia, scaevola, carpobrotus (pigface) massed under these trees. The focus is definitely on going native and celebrating the public park all around and the National Park of Barrenjoey Headland. That same landscape drawing lists a 'new public path', 'new public picnic tables', 'new public dining areas' and a new ramp to provide accessible access to the paths within the front area to match the accessible parking space that had to wait for the new owners to finally exist. 

That's not the only hallelujah moment.

Proprietors Ben May and Rob Domjen have kept the focus on the local community from the outset. 

Architect Roslyn Toia, Canvas Architecture & Design of Beacon Hill, drew the plans, the building works were undertaken by Blue Pacific Constructions, an Avalon Beach firm, the landscaping is by Landscapes by Linton, of Newport Beach.

The menu features the best products, foods and drink offerings from outfits like the Avalon Brewery and local suppliers to bring together a selection of dishes that celebrate seasonal quality. Even the eggs you will tuck into from the breakfast menu will come from local hens.

The jetty out front, while it will remain for the use of the landlords (government) on one side, The Joey's lease on the side closest to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse will be a place people may tie up and sample their offerings. Step off your boat, step onto the deck and have some superlative seafood.

The Boatshed building itself has been rebuilt on the same footprint but now it is not a closed in old boatshed that's been re-geared to be a cafe and is rotting at the foot. Windows are wider, framing that glorious view of Pittwater and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and what's sailing past, there's more airflow inside, more light, more panache. 

The whole structure had to be raised to comply with required flood level regulations, with half a gazillion new piles installed, meaning the new edition will last for another 75 years, and the resulting 1.5m increase to the height of the building means the upper storey office space has views Home and Away may be keen to showcase.



Summer In Pittwater 

Sunrise at Turimetta Beach, January 29, 2024. Photo by Joe Mills (Turimetta Moods)
Afternoon Golf at Palm Beach Golf Club, February 1, 2024. Photo: A J Guesdon

Pittwater Online News is Published Every Sunday Morning

 Past Features   Archives (pre 2014)

Pittwater Online News was selected for preservation by the State Library of New South Wales and National Library of Australia. This title is scheduled to be re-archived regularly.

Archived Issues (2014 on) may be accessed herepandora.nla.gov.au/tep/143700

Past Issues are also listed on site on the Community News page, by month.